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What are some of the conflicts in Hamlet?What are some of the conflicts in Hamlet?

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peluza74 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 18, 2007 at 10:40 AM via web

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What are some of the conflicts in Hamlet?

What are some of the conflicts in Hamlet?

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tthakkar | High School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted September 18, 2007 at 12:32 PM (Answer #2)

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That's a pretty big question and takes up more megabytes than this space provides. I can, however, set you in the right direction. The play contains conflict on all the levels that you mentioned, and then some. There is the conflict between Norway and Denmark. The fiery young Fortinbras wishes to re-claim the lands lost by his father. There is some type of conflict between every member of the Danish royal family. Ophelia loves Hamlet and Hamlet uses Ophelia. Hamlet despises his uncle, Hamlet secretly pines for his mother but also despises her for jumping into bed with his uncle......the list goes on. On a societal level, there is conflict between power and corruption and the excess of royalty with the security of the state. Just as every member of court conflicts with another person, so too does each person conflict with himself or herself. Claudius's conscience weighs heavy on him, Gertrude knows not whom to align herself with, Hamlet constantly berates himself and the fair Ophelia must constantly question her own desires while being manipulated by every male that is close to her. This, of course, is just the start but hopefully you have a better idea now.

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arjun50 | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted September 18, 2007 at 11:51 PM (Answer #3)

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First of all ,it should know that there are two kinds of conflict___ internal and external. As far as internal is cincerned,it is found between man and his conscience.As you know Hamlet is quite involved init.To be or not to be or he leaves Claudius without killing when he is performing prayer.The prophecy of Hamlet regarding the marriage between Claudius and his mother.As you know that in play is play that is the result of internal conflict.

you see the external conflict between Hamlet and Claudius.

Hamlet is ready to kill him in order to get the vengeance of his

 father,kismat saves him and you see the king always tries to

 hurt him by sending away.Apart from it see the conflict between Hamlet and Ophelia.Ophelia is stuff naked and she is condemned to be mad.There is conflict between Laertes and Hamlet.Laertes is endeavouring to harm Hamlet,at last they fight and drama ends.You will find the conflict between innocence and tyranny.In other words there is conflict between virtue and vice.It is conflict that is proceeding the story and makes Hamlet late or delay due to it his tragedy occurs.

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treehugger14 | Student , Grade 9 | Honors

Posted October 14, 2008 at 8:15 AM (Answer #4)

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Hi, I am actually an 8th grader (13 years old) so my answer might not be the best.

The internal conflict is man vs. his conscience:

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet has an internal conflict of man vs. his conscience. When Hamlet is confronted by his deceased father and is told that Hamlet’s uncle murdered him, revenge starts to eat away at Hamlet’s mind, soul, and actions. This vengeance starts at Hamlet’s feet, but soon climbs up to his mind, which causes Hamlet to have an alter ego. His alter ego’s character is demented and wicked. Because of all of the despair building upon Hamlet’s shoulders it weakness Hamlet, allowing his alter ego to control his actions and thoughts. Leading him to be violent towards his love, Ophelia, and treat his Danish Courtiers with great disrespect. Hamlet becomes crazed because he knows he must avenge his father’s death by killing this uncle, but he knows his mother loves his uncle therefore making his decision harder. In order to decide whether or not he should murder his uncle Hamlet fights with his conscience causing the internal conflict man vs. his conscience.

 

I will add my external conflict when I'm done typing it in about 2 hours.

 

Hug A Tree!!!!

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treehugger14 | Student , Grade 9 | Honors

Posted October 22, 2008 at 7:06 AM (Answer #5)

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Hi this is the 8th grader again. Here is my other conflict response. This conflict is external.

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet has an external conflict of man vs. man. Hamlet is told by his father’s ghost that Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle, murdered him. Hamlet seeks to avenge his father’s death by murdering his uncle. Claudius becomes aware of Hamlet’s change in behavior and orders Polonius to spy on the Queen’s conversation with her son, Hamlet. After giving this order, Claudius decides to pray for forgiveness for murdering his brother. Hamlet walks in on Claudius praying and draws his sword, but realizes that if he killed Claudius in prayer he would go to heaven because he was asking God to forgive his sins. Hamlet wanted to murder his uncle when Claudius was sinning, so Hamlet left to go speak with his mother as ordered by her. While Hamlet argues with his mother he realizes someone is spying on them. Thinking it was the king, Hamlet quickly stabs and kills the spy. However, it was not the King but Polonius, the King’s councilor. This increased the tension between Claudius and Hamlet causing an external conflict of man vs. man or in Hamlet’s case Hamlet vs. Claudius.  

Hug A Tree!!!!    

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jessica-w | Student , College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 18, 2010 at 3:28 AM (Answer #6)

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I believe that Hamlets inner conflict, which in summary is his constant self questioning about wether to avenge his father's death and kill Claudius, his inability to act, and his resulting fury with himself about not acting, was the result of all the external conflicts of the play, which include conflicts between him and his mother, with Claudius, with Ophelia and with Laertes. All the innocent deaths of the play are the consequences of Hamlets prolonged decision to kill Claudius. The conflict between his action and delay all in all is Hamlets main downfall and Because of his inaction and obfuscating nature i criticize him. This conflict to me, is the main conflict of the whole play and is the reason for the tragic ending that is 'Hamlet'.

:) x

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 10, 2011 at 12:05 AM (Answer #7)

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I would like to answer this question by approaching it from a slightly different angle. I think it is easy to jump to thinking of the conflicts that Hamlet as a character faces, and clearly there are many that he has to confront. However, this temptation to jump to the title character can lead us to forget and ignore the other important characters and the conflicts that they themselves face.

For example, let us think of Ophelia and the many conflicts that she faces. She is clearly in love with Hamlet, yet both her brother and her father command her to have nothing to do with him:

I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,

Have you so slander any moment leisure,

As to give words or talk with the Lord hamlet:

Look to't, I charge you; come your ways.

This clearly presents a massive internal conflict for her, as she must choose parental obedience over the desires of her own heart. Then, having been commanded to stay away from Hamlet, she is then commanded again by her father to act as bait whilst Claudius and he eavesdrop on her conversation with Hamlet. Again, she must choose between loyalty to her lover and loyalty to her father. Lastly, when Hamlet kills her father, we can see the immense mental agony this must have caused her, perhaps explaining why she goes insane.

Likewise, let us remember that Laertes faces a parallel situation to Hamlet. He, like Hamlet, has had his father killed through foul means, and he, like Hamlet wants to avenge his father's death. Yet he faces an internal conflict as to whether to do this through treachery, as Claudius is suggesting, or through an honest duel. Lastly, he confesses all, perhaps signifying the resolution of this conflict, as he opts for honesty.

You might find it interesting to examine other characters and the various conflicts that they have and seeing what light they cast on the play rather than considering Hamlet alone. For example, think of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Gertrude, and even Claudius and the conflicts that they face. Good luck!

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM (Answer #8)

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The biggest internal conflict is Hamlet's struggle to decide what to do about his father's death.  However, it is caused by the external struggle of his father's murder.  In the end, Hamlet is the one who has to deal with it.

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